Monday, June 30, 2008

Garden Sex

The cucumbers have started to flower and we have no bees. Apparently, unlike tomatoes, cucumbers and squash have to be pollinated. This morning, I pulled off a male flower and tried my best at pollinating 3 female flowers with that. I guess I will keep at this and see how it goes, I saw another male flower and will repeat the process tomorrow morning.

I did manage to get a photo of the female flower (the males do not have the mini cucumbers.):

Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Back from Bar Harbor

Thank you to Uncle Larry for taking care of the plants while we were away for a week. I thought the plants would be dead when we came back - so instead of souvenirs, I bought a Brandywine tomato, several yellow squash and flower seeds.

As it happens, the plants are very much alive thanks to Larry and now we have a green jungle, plus most of the seedlings are ready to plant. Most of the cucumbers have vines that are climbing up the deck, a few of the tomato plants have either flowers or new tomatoes growing. After I was done assesing my mess, I planted 2 of our Detroit Dark Red Beets, 3 of the Bush Snap Green Beans and 2 of the Alaska Peas.

I will be off to purchase some new pots and potting soil on Tuesday.

Here are some photos:

Monday, June 16, 2008

More rain

We are supposed to get more rain and severe thunderstorms all the way into tonight, followed by four partly cloudy days, then more thunderstorms into the weekend.

With this wonderful forecast, I skipped watering the plants this morning and took a photo of them instead.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rumors of Cherry Tomatoes

The past two days we have had intermittent rain mixed with thunder storms. During this storm, one of the Celebrity tomato plants blew over slightly, so this morning I staked it up with a small branch. This afternoon I checked on all of the plants again and decided that it was a good time as any to fertilize them. I mixed some fertilizer (Miracle Grow) and water in a 5 gallon bucket and Ivy decided that she wanted to have a sip. God help me with these dogs in this garden.

(Pictured above are the Market More cucumbers with no vines.)

Right now the only tomato plants with tomatoes are Jason's Cherry tomatoes and a couple of the Roma's. Two of the Celebrity plants have blooms but no tomatoes as of yet. Our Heirloom Polish tomato's (which I believe to be Soldacki's) are just growing very tall and not doing much else. The cucumbers are growing some nice leaves, but haven't thrown any vines out as of yet, and the peppers have done nothing. One of the Ghostbuster eggplants also sent out a bloom, but nothing came of that.

(Pictured above are the seedlings)

For fun, I planted some seeds to see if anything would grow. I planted some Bush Green Beans which are coming up very nicely as are the Snap Peas. The Romaine lettuce and Zucchini squash are both really iffy. I also sowed some Detroit Dark Red Beets... just to see what will happen, if anything.

The only other garden news is that we need to get a baby gate to keep Kelso out. She is extremely interested in all of the happenings of the garden, and happens to love vegetables...

(Celebrity bloom)

(Cherry Tomatoes)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Garden Photo Update

Here is an updated photo of the garden. Quite a few of the tomato plants have flowers and little green tomatoes, one of the eggplants has a flower, and several of my seedling are coming up (those are not seen in this photo).
We started the garden late in the year so we are not expecting miracles even though my father seems to think we are going to get a ton of tomatoes. I will be thankful if I learn enough this year to actually have a harvest next year. Wouldn't that be something?

Rose Bush

Here is the rose bush that I wanted to give away 7 years ago. At that time, it gave us maybe 1/2 dozen blooms and looked like a very homely stick. My mom pruned it a few years back and it started to fill out. I made the mistake of pruning it again this past February and Jason cut back the maple tree that grows in the center of it and now it is a monster! It is scheduled to get a trellis in a few weeks.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Raspberry Bush

Here is our prized possession, the self pollinating Raspberry Bush. I am hoping to get some more potting soil for it tonight.

Garden Update

Sunday, June 8, 2008

So Far

Here is what the garden looks like so far. Larry and I stopped at the Berlin Farmers Market Saturday morning where I was only able to pick up some strawberries... not too much in season around here.

On the way back home, we stopped at a farm stand where I picked up some Marigolds for pest control. Always more work.

Jay and I stopped at a few farm stands today. We were able to buy produce, although most of it was trucked in from New Jersey. Very disappointing, although at least it is not from California. The man there said that they were growing most of what I was buying, but it wasn't ready yet. I felt like such a dork asking where everything came from... and the woman there was a bit of a biatch. Oh well.

We also stopped in at Ali's to pick up some 3 gallon bucket for the Marigolds and the basil I bought at Stop and Shop. While we were there, a self pollinating raspberry bush attached itself to us. So we are now proud parents of a raspberry bush that I will have to protect from my berry picking dog, Miss Kelso.

I am now on the quest for some strawberry plants....

Friday, June 6, 2008

Gimme More

We have our very first tomatoling thing today. There is a green tomato on each of the Cherry Tomato plants! Victory is ours.

Today we planted: 6 Roma Plum Tomatoes and 2 Hot Cherry Peppers.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Getting bigger!

When I decided I would try to plant a garden, I thought that the easiest way for me to start would be using containers. I even had a premo spot for them on the deck that we NEVER use. If this gardening thing turns out to be something I enjoy, the deck is coming down!

My husband nicely picked up more totes from Target and let me know that this was the last of them. Meaning that I would have to throw away the rest of my plants. This started me on my short adventure of finding a cheap source for 5 gallon buckets. A coworkers husband happens to run a nursery. Yeah for me! In the photo you will see my fabulous find of $1 - 5 gallon black buckets recycled from the trees that they sell.

Today we planted: 2 Hot Cherry Peppers, 1 Polish Tomato, 1 Celebrity Tomato, 2 Ghostbuster Eggplants (1 is in a garbage can), 1 Roma Tomato and 3 Market More Cucumbers.

Here is what the garden looks like today, with Kelso on the prowl.

Monday, June 2, 2008


We have a slight cucumber problem. Pictured above are my Market More Cucumbers. The way they were packaged in their little seedling container (3 to a container), I had a hard time deciding how to plant them. So, I planted them as they were and decided if I had to, I would separate them later. Also in the photo is Kelso, she thinks it looks wrong too.

We ended up planting: 2 Hot Cherry Peppers, 2 Cherry Tomatoes and 6 Market More Cucumbers. All six cukes in one container for now...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Day One

After trying to locate a local source for plants, we settled on getting some from 1 town over (Cheshire, CT) at Sunny Acres Farm. From what I could see it was a family operated business.
We picked up mostly tomatoes (several varieties), cucumbers, peppers and eggplant. I was happy to find Roma's, I want to try my hand at making sauce and my husband was happy about tracking down some cherry tomatoes.

The 10 gallon buckets were purchased at Target for an OUTRAGEOUS sum of money... I think $4.50 each. We drilled holes in the bottoms and sides of each bucket, added gravel (which we already had) and washed it off, added Potting Soil (we chose Scotts Premium from Home Depot) and wet it thoroughly, and added two plants. After everything was planted, we watered them and gave them some Miracle Grow - also from Home Depot and called it a day.

We planted 2 Celebrity Tomatoes, 1 Ghostbuster Eggplant (not seen photo below), 2 Polish Tomatoes, 2 Cherry Tomatoes and 2 Roma Tomatoes. Here is what everything looks like on Day 1.

Victory Garden

In May I purchased the book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. By the time I was halfway through the book, I had to have a garden (Damn you Kingsolver!). This book reminded me so much of my grandfather, it was unbelievable. Like Kingsolver, he grew his garden as a hobby, food and profit. His wife (my grammy Chalifoux), was a "city slicker" that adapted very well to farm life from what I understand. My husbands' grandmother (Millie) also had her own garden, hers, like ours was in the city. Both my husband and I have fond memories of picking vegetables straight out of the garden and eating them like candy. (His favorite was green beans, and mine was peas.)

So, here we are. We have decided to take on the challenge of gardening in the suburbs. This year however, no green beans, no peas. Yet.

-Victory Garden:
-Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: